why use your email to send and receive fax

​Gmail has become the biggest free email provider on the Web. ​​Although ​the vast majority people use it to open a personal email address, there's also a big portion that use Gmail for their business' communications, combining it with other types of technology, including online faxing.

But​ as you know, Gmail isn't the only free email provider on the Web.  We have also plenty of good alternatives such as Yahoo! Mail and Outlook (previously Hotmail). Then... why do we recommend ​using Gmail to send and receive faxes? Why it's a good idea to ​prefer it over other services?

​Part of the answer is that Google is not a basic email service.  ​You can send and receive faxes but that is only a fraction of what you can do with your Gmail account.  It also offers features and tools that make faxing by email an easy task.

​Here we will take a look at the benefits of faxing from Gmail​.  You'll see why it is the smartest way of faxing online.

1. Creating an account is free and quick

​Gmail started as an invite-only service, but now everyone can create a new account in just a couple of minutes.  You can have multiple accounts if you like, which is perfect if you want to fax and avoid mixing incoming messages.

​In recent times, they have added the possibility to link multiple accounts together by signing into them at the same time.  Just click on your profile's picture and you'll see a drop-down list of all the addresses you have accessed from your computer.  Click on one of them to sign in to your account and have a separate Gmail windows open, where you can read emails without having to close your previous window.

2. ​Save your faxes ​on the cloud with your Google Drive ​account

​When you create a Gmail address, you create a Google account at the same time. This means that you have access to the array of tools and services provided by the search engine giant.  One of them is your own free virtual storage space in Google Drive.

Google Drive is a free cloud storage service that includes 15 GB of virtual hard drive space.  You can pay to have more space, but if you are just faxing from your account, the 15 GB are more than enough space to store your faxes for years to come.

With some online fax services you can even "pull" documents directly from your Google Drive account to send as fax, without having to download them on your computer.

3. Ads ​aren't intrusive

​Gmail use contextual ads to monetize Gmail.  But unlike other services, the ads are so well integrated in the interface, you can barely notice them.  

Currently Gmail only show ads in the Social and Promotions tabs.  The main inbox tab is left untouched so you can focus on your important messages and incoming faxes without accidentally clicking on ads.

4. Plenty of ​options to easily find faxes

Gmail has all the search options to ​quickly find a fax.  

The advanced search ​window lets you search emails by date, recipient, size and even the words included/not included in the body of the message. It’s no wonder search is great though, after all... it has been made by Google right?

To access the advanced search options, click on the right side of the search bar. A pop-up menu will appear just below the bar.  Then adjust the search as you wish. To search faxes, make sure ​to check the "Has attachment" ​box.

5. Spam filtering

This is the free email provider with the best spam filter ​on the Web.  

The system has a great way of sorting through junk fax and leave on your primary inbox only emails from credible sources.  ​Nothing is 100% effective though, sometimes Gmail can block authentic email messages, but this happens only in rare cases.  I've never seen this happen when using an online fax service, but if this happens to you, just find the message on your Spam foled and

If this happens with your online fax provider, ​open the incoming fax from the "Spam" folder and then click on "Report not spam" option located inside a grey box.  Next time you receive an email fax, it will appear on the Primary inbox folder.

6. POP and IMAP Support for Free

​POP and IMAP are email protocols that you can use to configure your preferred email desktop software, or the email program on your mobile phone.  

Unlike other providers, Gmail lets you have access to these two protocols for free.  Once you configure your email client, it will download all your messages and attachments directly on your computer/device. You can choose to still keep them in Gmail though.

Sending faxes with ​POP and IMAP configuration ​is still be possible, these protocols only add more options to your productivity arsenal.

7. ​Add more features ​to Gmail using add-ons

​For a while, we've been able to install add-ons to Gmail, but this year the company introduced a new feature called "Compose Actions", which let you enjoy more options when composing a new email.

Although there are not add-ons for faxing yet, we can take advantage of them to send documents from other cloud storage services like Box and Dropbox, without having to go through too many steps.

An Email Service That's Always a Step Ahead

​Besides all these interesting features that help you with email and fax, we have to mention that Google is always looking for ways to improve Gmail. This year ​alone we have witnessed plenty of improvements and changes, including a total redesign of its interface.

The "Quick Actions" and "Compose Actions" are features that wea re just starting to get used to, and I'm sure the top online fax service providers will take advantage of them.

Are you still in doubt about using Gmail ​along your online fax service? 

​I promise there's no better provider out there.  If you want to learn more about this new way of faxing, be sure to check out our tutorials!